CHENGDU (China) - Liman Huishan NE displayed remarkable determination during the inaugural day of the FIBA 3x3 Chengdu Masters 2023 in Chengdu, China.
Their dynamic performance reflected both their composure and their aspirations for a Masters title. Let's delve into the events of the first day of this year's 12th World Tour Masters.
THE REVENGE GAME
Liman swept Pool C, securing two wins in contrasting fashion to advance to the Quarter-Finals on Day Two. They opened their account with a lopsided 21-10 win over Utrecht, but their second game of the day was very different. Liman had to rally from a late deficit to upset recently crowned WT Shanghai champions Ulaanbaatar, 21-20. That was thanks mainly to 11 points from hometown favorite Zhang Ning. It was sweet revenge for Liman, which had lost to Ulaanbaatar in the WT Shanghai Final hardly a week earlier.
OMAHA OVERCOME ODDS
Despite playing with only three players on their roster, Omaha overcame the odds and swept Pool B. They cruised past second-seeded Vienna, 22-14, in their first game before eliminating San Juan, 21-17, in their second game. Trey Bardsley and Mitch Hahn stepped up for Omaha with their outside shooting and rebounding. However, James Parrott won the crowds with his boundless energy and athleticism.
Beijing may have finished with one win and one loss. However, they were the undisputed fan favorites throughout Day One. Behind the brilliance of Zhu Songwei, Beijing defeated Saitama, 21-16, before just falling short against fifth-seeded Raudondvaris Hoptrans in their last assignment of the day. Beijing eventually advanced to the Quarter-Finals and will face Omaha in the knockout round.
Another team that turned heads was eighth-seeded Lausanne Sport LS. They pulled off one of the day's biggest upsets by defeating Ub Huishan NE, 21-17, in their first game. Not long after, the Swiss side completed their Pool A sweep by also beating Sansar MMC Energy behind the sweet moves of Gilles Martin.
Raudondvaris entered Chengdu winners of no less than 10 of their last Pro Circuit games. Not surprisingly, they preserved their unbeaten status after a clean sweep of Pool D. They first disappointed Beijing, 21-16, before eliminating Saitama ALPHAS EXE, 21-18, to close the day.
Lausanne (SUI) vs Ulaanbaatar (MGL)
Raudondvaris (LTU) vs Vienna (AUT)
Omaha (USA) vs Beijing (CHN)
Liman (SRB) vs Ub (SRB)
*Trey Bardsley and Steve Sir both scored 12 points in a single game to record the high of the day. Bardsley sank five two-pointers in Omaha's win over Vienna, while Sir also had five two-pointers in Ulaanbaatar's big victory over Utrecht. Bardsley also leads all players in both key Assists (5) and Player Value (32.5) after Day One.
*Bardsley's teammate James Parrott had more than a lion's share of the spotlight. In fact, Parrott recorded 23 highlights by the day's end to lead all players by far.
*Four players, meanwhile, are tied at the top of the rebounding ladder with 11 each. These are Lausanne's Westher Molteni, Ulaanbaatar's Delgernyam Davaasambuu, Beijing's duo of Zhu Yuanbo and Nauris Miezis.